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Swansea City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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After The Final Whistle: Swans Cast pop by for a debrief after their win against Sunderland

Our friends from Swans Cast dropped by for a cuppa and a chat in the aftermath of Sunderland’s defeat to Russell Martin’s side to talk about how the game played out...

Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Well, then... how are you feeling about the outcome of the game now that the dust has settled?

RR: We’ve got to be happy with the outcome - it was the fourth win in a row for the Swans, in a week which has seen us travel to West Brom then Watford.

Tiredness crept in, understandably, but we got the job done where we would not have last year.

You seemed pretty confident on Friday night about your chances, and to be fair in that first half Swansea were impossible to get the ball off. Did things go as expected in that opening period, or were you surprised at how easy your team made it look?

RR: We have really improved lately, and I had a sneaky feeling a 2-1 was coming with a strong start, and for us to fade as the game wore on.

It’s not been unusual to start well though only recently we have been backing it up with goals.

I thought the home crowd were excellent. Is it always that loud?!

RR: Usually, the crowd is not that loud. The atmosphere was brilliant, but that was also thanks to the full away end.

We don’t get many sold out away ends, and this was just like a cracking old school atmosphere. The crowd has been a bit twitchy for the early part if the season, but the recent form is now being appreciated, and rightly so.

Swansea City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Your first goal... it was a tad fortunate but overloading our box worked. What do you think Martin’s gameplan was going into the game?

RR: Usually teams sit back and soak up our early pressure, and later grow into the game.

That seemed to be the case a little bit again here, but we are usually a bit more shot shy, and in a way by taking a few more risks rather than just keeping the ball, and over loading the box, we are creating out own luck you could say.

The second was disappointing but not surprising for us as we’ve struggled to defend set pieces all season, but Darling did well to finish it off. Thoughts on that goal?

RR: It’s nice to see us finally asking questions from set plays. It looked like it was a scruffy version of a training ground move, but we asked the question and often that can create chances for any team.

We have a couple of strong center backs now who are capable of causing issues in both boxes, Darling is one who has definitely added goals to our back line.

Sunderland came out second half and had a bit of a go. Were you surprised we turned it up a bit? Did you think you’d go on to score more?

RR: I was expecting a reaction in the second half, but thought we may ride it out and get a third based on the performance before hand.

Having said that, before the game I was certain both teams would get a goal here, and you guys would make it difficult for us as the game went on, which maybe tells the story of our early season theme of conceding late.

Credit to Sunderland, they upped the intensity and it posed us problems that we struggled to manage, especially after two tough games on the road.

The fact we were able to see it through just shows the improvements we are currently seeing at Swansea.

Swansea City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

From our perspective I thought out goal was good - on the counter, some smart play from Pritchard to distract your defenders, and then Clarke shot caught everyone off guard. Were you disappointed at all with the defending for it?

RR: Clarke scored with an excellent finish, but the fact the chance came off a counter is no surprise.

Where we give the ball away and are slightly out of defensive position, is the main source of our conceded goals.

Darling in particular here steps out of line to challenge for a header, he has to win it.

He does not, and as a result our defensive shape is all over the place with a number of Sunderland men pushing through.

Credit to them, they forced the opportunity and used the space available to full effect, but we have to do better here - especially Darling in this case.

We pushed as the game wore on - do you think Clarke should have had a pen in added time? I heard an interview with him where he said he felt it was as there was contact, and he wouldn’t have gone down if he could have helped it because he could have crossed the ball... your thoughts?

RR: In the stadium, you always worry when you see that happen, especially at that time in the match.

I just saw the man go down, and started to panic. Seeing it on TV though in the concourse, I do not think it was a penalty. It seems telling that I cannot find a replay of it in any of the highlights, which suggests it was the correct call.

There could well have been some form of contact, but not all contact is a penalty, but I doubt he would admit to no contact either in all fairness.

In the end, then, you got the three points and won 2-1. Fair result or do you think it could have gone differently?

RR: Arguably, it was a game of two halves and a draw could have been deemed a fair result. We looked very tired as the second half went on, and perhaps could not have argued if you had got a point.

That’s not to say the win wasn’t hard earned though, its always nice to ‘get the job done’ when it looks like momentum is shifting.

Which Sunderland player impressed you most?

RR: Jack Clarke was a definite highlight for you.

He looked sharp all game, took his goal well and was a constant threat and thorn in our side.

I’m sure he will continue to have a great season for Sunderland.


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